How to Set Up a Bar for a Party Like a Pro

Party Planning

how to set up a bar for a party, zipps liquor, liquor store, liquor store near me

Setting up a bar for your party is more straightforward than you might think. Plus, it can be a whole lot cheaper if you know what you need and how to go about it. What you need is a helpful ‘how-to’ guide like this one here! Think about any party you have attended with a bar. Then, make a note of what you liked and what you didn’t, and start from there. The next step is to follow this practical guide.

Setting up a bar for a party – what you need to do:

Decide if the party has a theme

For themed parties, you might want the decoration of the bar to fit into the theme. You might also want to select glasses and mixes that align with the party theme. Deciding whether or not the party has a theme is a good way to figure out everything you need at your bar.

Make a list of drinks

Now that you know whether your party will be a themed one or not, you can work on the list of drinks. Having a theme makes it easier to know the kind of drinks you want to serve. Make a list of everything you need to buy at the liquor store including fruits, sweeteners, and mixers. For a talked-about bar, it helps to have a star drink – something that is a level higher than other drinks. Such a drink can be differentiated by a clever name, requiring some skill to mix, or by having an exciting taste.

Now, are you wondering how much liquor you’ll need for your party? Use our Drink Calculator for parties to determine how much liquor you’ll need for your next party. We’ll tell you exactly how much liquor you’ll need to buy depending on what your guests like to drink. If you need to order liquor for your event, order through us! We provide discounts of 10-15% on orders over $1000.

Tools needed

You are going to need different tools for your bar. Such tools include things like an ice bucket, ice picker, different types of glasses, napkins, bottle openers, stirrers, and so on. If you aren’t sure about what tools and additional items you might need, reflect on the party you imagined at the beginning of this article.

Bartender or self-serve

Is the bar going to have a bartender or is it going to be a self-serve bar? Whichever one you decide is alright. Bear in mind that a self-serve bar needs less complicated drink mixes. And, with a bartender you have the chance of showing off your ‘star drink’ that requires some more skill to mix. Also, note that a bartender might come with some tools themselves, while a self-serve bar requires you to provide everything.


Now, with a list of everything you need, it will be easier to make a budget. The budget will include prices for the drinks, the tools, and the cost of hiring a bartender if you decide to go that route. Remember to contact a bartender early enough before he/she gets booked!


Finally, once you’ve secured everything you need, it’s time to set up. You will need to pick a location to set up; make sure that it is somewhere that doesn’t have a lot already happening there, as usually there is a line at the bar. Display all the drinks in the order they will be poured. You can decide to do this from left to right or right to left. Always place the glasses at the beginning and beer at the end for people who would rather go the more simple route and not select something like your ‘star drink’.

One last tip! Do not put more than 3 bottles of any drink on the counter at once, because you don’t want to have 10 bottles of rum opened and only half used. In conclusion, all these steps are straight forward, and you don’t need any form of expertise to set up a killer bar for your party! If you plan to serve fancy drinks, write a menu and include recipes if it is a self-serve bar. 

For all the ingredients you need to set up a bar for your party, head on over to your local Zipps. We take the guesswork out of it, and will help you select what you need! And, if you want to order liquor for your party, call us to get a free quote.

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